Stunningly, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) networks are actually getting out of their censorship mode (for a while) to actually cover the Hunter Biden scandal.
On April 19 The Wall Street Journal reported that a whistleblower who works in the IRS’s criminal investigation division came forward to reveal that the Biden administration is allegedly giving Hunter Biden preferential treatment and has tried to stonewall the investigation into the alleged tax crimes Hunter committed.
Then on April 20, the New York Post reported that now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken was the catalyst behind the debunked and infamous October 2020 letter from former intelligence officials dismissing the surfacing of Hunter Biden’s laptop as Russian disinformation.
These incredible revelations actually woke ABC, CBS, NBC out of their Joe Biden-esque sleepy slumber to devote, on their evening, morning and Sunday roundtable shows, a total of 24 minutes, 56 seconds to the Hunter-related scandals from April 19 to April 23. The nets then quickly dropped the story and haven’t even mentioned Hunter's name in 8 days.
It’s not like there aren’t new stories to cover. From the serious (Hunter Biden notified Burisma colleague of planned Blinken meet: emails) to the salacious (Hunter Biden may be living at the White House to evade legal papers from his baby mama).
The tone of the IRS whistleblower coverage was sober. On the April 19 CBS Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell reported: “Tonight, there is breaking news in the federal criminal investigation into Hunter Biden’s tax returns. An attorney for an IRS supervisor sent a letter to lawmakers today, asking for whistleblower protection, saying his client has information that suggests the investigation is being improperly influenced by ‘preferential treatment and politics.’”
Then CBS chief investigative correspondent Jim Axelrod sat down with the whistleblower's attorney, Mark Lytle who told Axelrod the “typical steps that a law enforcement investigator would take were compromised because of political considerations.”
The whistleblower story was covered by all three networks.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the earth-shattering news that Blinken was behind the 2020 letter of former intelligence officials that debunked Hunter’s laptop as Russian disinformation.
Since the networks initially bought into this lie it’s not too surprising they’d be reluctant to report on this bit of embarrassing (for them) news.
Only CBS News covered the Blinken part of the story, but even then they spent just a total of 4 minutes, 26 seconds on it. CBS covered this revelation on the April 21 editions of CBS Mornings and CBS Evening News. CBS Mornings co-anchor Tony Dokoupil reported: “We’re going to turn now to new developments in the congressional probe into Hunter Biden’s business dealings. According to House Republicans, they’re saying that former CIA Director Michael Morell gave them new information about the origins of a letter from 50 former intelligence officials concerning Hunter Biden’s laptop that suggested Russian involvement in hacking the laptop’s contents.”
Senior investigative correspondent and former Fox reporter Catherine Herridge set the table with a brief history lesson that, after the original New York Post story about Biden family corruption and the public revelation of Hunter’s laptop, it took “less than a week” for “more than 50 former intelligence officials” to sign onto “a statement that the laptop had ‘all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.’”
While she didn’t fit in the fact that the letter was used to help censor the Post’s reporting (and those who shared it), she did play a clip of Biden touting it in the final 2020 presidential debate as proof that concerns from then-President Trump were “a bunch of garbage.”
However, NewsBusters’ Curtis Houck noted the following: CBS’s thoroughness was particularly ironic considering how, as we reported at the time, they accepted the letter as air-tight and factual, so they went ahead with the premise that the laptop’s accuracy was fishy. By November 2022, they changed their tune.
Since April 23 through the morning of May1 the networks haven’t uttered Hunter’s name, but something does seem different this time. It appears the networks have recognized the serious nature of Rep. James Comer and his committees’ work and are a little more willing to report on it. Quite frankly the scandal deserves wall-to-wall coverage but, at least the network freeze on the Hunter stories seems to be thawing-out a bit.